Wildlife in Italy: Northern Emerald Toad

Wildlife in Italy: Northern Emerald Toad

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Amphibians
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidi
Kind: Bufo
Species: B. viridis

Bufo viridis is widespread in most of Europe, in North Africa and central Asia.

Distinctive characters

The emerald toad has a robust body, rounded head, short muzzle; large prominent eyes with horizontal elliptical pupil.
Ventrally it has uniform whitish or slightly wrinkled dark skin; dorsally the background color is white, gray or light green, with clearly defined greenish spots, often bordered with dark.
The male measures between 55 and 77 mm in length (snout-cloaca distance), while the females, longer, measure between 60 and 85 mm. The dorsal speckling is less contrasted and with smaller and more numerous spots in males than in females. In the male there is an external vocal sac under the throat through which they produce the typical song similar to a rather high-pitched trill.

Biology

During the breeding season, it is often found in the areas of confluence of small streams and streams, even in waters with a high degree of salinity.
It is an opportunistic and colonizing species of recently formed pools with scarce or absent aquatic vegetation. For taleragione it can be frequently found in puddles formed following excavations carried out by man (construction sites, extraction quarries).
It feeds on invertebrates, mainly annelids, insects and molluscs (snails).
After the winter hibernation, coinciding with spring, the mating season begins: the toads go near the breeding places (usually near waterways, puddles or ponds) towards the beginning of March and there the males cling to the armpits of the females , which are visibly larger. This is the so-called axillary extension. At this point the female lays a gelatinous cord of 5,000 to 13,000 eggs in water, which are fertilized by the male. These eggs will then hatch, causing the tadpoles to come out.

Northern Emerald Toad (photo Sergio Stella)

Northern Emerald Toad (photo Harustak http://galleries.harustak.sk)


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